Han Solo is a legend. The smuggler-turned-hero won over audiences in A New Hope (1977) just as much as he did in The Force Awakens (2015). Audiences don’t just root for Han Solo; they love Han Solo. After all, between Harrison Ford’s impeccable performance and the snarky one-liners, what’s not to love? Han is at the center of the original trilogy, and Star Wars wouldn’t have been Star Wars without him.
However, Han Solo has been involved with a number of criminal dealings and questionable decisions, both in Star Wars Legends and in the new Star Wars canon. Some things, in fact, might actually make fans think twice about their favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder.
So while you’re waiting for Rogue One (2016), take a look at the 15 Most WTF Things Han Solo Has Done!
15. Han Shoots First
Han Solo owed money to Jabba the Hutt after he was forced to abandon some of Jabba’s cargo. When Han did not pay Jabba the money that he was owed, Jabba sent bounty hunters to collect. One of these bounty hunters was Greedo, a Rodian, who tracked Han down and threatened him. Let’s be honest: we know that Han shot first. In fact, George Lucas tried to add Greedo shooting in a later edition of A New Hope because he felt that Han Solo shooting first made him a “cold-blooded killer”. Han’s own creator thought that the action was beyond redemption and made Han unworthy of marrying Princess Leia.
But for argument’s sake, even if Han was shooting in self-defense, he didn’t think twice about ending a life. Killing Greedo in cold blood without any remorse wasn’t enough — Han tipped the cantina staff and, referencing the body of the person that he killed, said, “Sorry about the mess.”
14. Han is Married?
In the new canon Star Wars comics tha stake place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), a certain someone from Han’s past interrupts his shameless attempt at seducing Princess Leia: his wife. Sana Starros, Han’s former partner in crime and perhaps partner otherwise, descends on the planet, claiming to be his wife. Han counters and says that the union that he and Sana went through wasn’t valid and was part of a con… but in this case, it’s pretty easy to believe that Han would lie to save face with Leia.
Even if the marriage was a scam, Han also double-crossed Sana Starros, taking all of the money that they made together, and abandoning her. Sana calls Han the biggest thief and cutthroat in the galaxy… and she may be right. After all, regardless of whether or not they were married, she was his ally, and he left her high and dry.
13. Han Solo is a Lying Cheat
Han Solo didn’t just double-cross Sana Starros — his whole career as a smuggler was based around telling people what they wanted to hear, ripping people off, and lying and cheating to get paid. Lando claims that Han cheated him in order to get the Millenium Falcon; everyone that Han seems to meet is mad at him for taking advantage of them.
One of the many examples of Han lying in order to make money occurs in The Force Awakens. Han and Chewie were transporting deadly Rathtars, and had borrowed money from the Kanjiklub and Guavian Death Gang in order to complete the job. Han had run instead, planning on ripping off both groups, and they both tracked him and attempted to kill him. Ultimately, Han hadn’t learned anything from his encounter with Jabba. He was still trying to scam people out of money, and then prefered murdering them to settling his debts.
12. Han Threatens to Kill His Former Flame
Han Solo has never been lucky in love — whether it’s the canon or Legends, Han seems to be a player who has trouble with the ladies before he met a certain Alderaanian Princess. In Legends, one of Han’s earliest and longest occurring love interests was Bria Tharen. The two had a long history, with Han joining the Imperials thanks to Bria, and later working multiple jobs with her. Unfortunately, Bria double-crossed Han and took the bounty that they were chasing, seizing it in the name of the Rebel Alliance. Afterwards, Han told Bria that if he ever saw her again, he would kill her.
Han is clearly angry in that moment; after all, the woman that he loves is not only betraying him, but taking the money that he rightfully stole. Additionally, other smugglers involved in the operation, including Lando, believed that Han was in cahoots with Bria, meaning that they blamed him for the double-crossing. Despite this, Han’s threat is incredibly violent and disturbing. It’s hardly what a Star Wars leading man should say when faced with an adversary… especially since Bria is only doing what Han does it everyone else!
11. Han (Accidentally) Created a Cult
Han Solo and Chewbacca tried to make a quick buck on the planet Kamar by opening a bootleg holo-theater that only showed an incredibly boring nature documentary called Varn, World of Water. Some of the Badlanders who inhabited Kamar attended the holo-theater and developed a cult around the documentary, known as “The Cult of Varn”. When Han Solo decided to change the film to another flashier holo-film called Love is Waiting, the Cult of Varn became hostile and attacked Han and Chewie, accusing them of sacrilege for showing a different film. Eventually, the cultists ran them out of town, and Han and Chewbacca left the planet.
Han and Chewbacca both became a part of the cult’s religion. Han was known as “Solohan the Deceiver”, who with the aid of a demon of fur tried to blaspheme the gods of Varn; the two were taken up into the heavens by the gods as punishment.
10. Han Sides With His Homeworld Over His Family
Like the pilot Wedge Antilles, Han Solo is from the planet Corellia. In Star Wars Legends, the New Republic was formed after the fall of the Galactic Empire; after the conflict with the Yuuzhan Vong, the New Republic was reformed as the Galactic Alliance.
During this time – over a 40 year period after the Battle of Yavin IV — the Corellian government became increasingly xenophobic and isolationist. They wanted planets to have greater power than the centralist Galactic Alliance; the Galactic Alliance was fearful that it would lose any power that it had, and so tried to intervene, sparking a civil war.
The war pitted people against their friends and family. While Luke and Jaina Solo (Han’s daughter) initially fought on the side of the Galactic Alliance, Han chose to fight with Corellia. Leia, Han’s wife, initially appeared to be on the side of the Galactic Alliance, but fed Han information so that he would not be killed. Han, however, did not appear to return the favor.
9. Han Blames His Son For Chewbacca’s Death
In Star Wars Legends, Chewbacca is killed when a moon collided with the planet Sernpidal during the conflict with the Yuuzhan Vong. Han Solo’s youngest son, Anakin Solo, accompanied his father and Chewbacca on a rescue mission. Though Chewbacca helped Anakin return to the Falcon, Anakin chose to fly the Falcon away while his father attempted to rescue Chewie. Chewbacca died, but Anakin’s actions saved his father and himself.
Han Solo, however, did not view Anakin’s actions with kindness, instead, bitterly blaming his son for the death of Chewbacca. Han lashed out at Anakin, driving Anakin to behave recklessly; while the two did reconcile, Anakin Solo would also die in the war with the Yuuzhan Vong while trying to be a hero.
Given Han’s relationship with his other son, however, perhaps Anakin’s relationship with his father is more positive. After all, Han ordered an assassination attempt on his older son, Jacen Solo, after he learned that Jacen had fallen to the Dark side and had taken the mantle of Darth Caedus.
8. Han Leaves Chewbacca Behind
Much of the plot of the canon novel Aftermath: Life Debt revolves around Han Solo trying to free Chewbacca and other prisoners from the Galactic Empire. However, in the novel, which takes place after the events of the film Return of the Jedi (1983), the reason why Chewbacca is in captivity in the first place is because Han was forced to leave Chewbacca behind as Imperial forces descended.
Some fans thought that this action was uncharacteristic for Han “Never tell me the odds” Solo. Afer all, Han tends to run towards overwhelming danger in order to protect his friends. Chewbacca is his best friend and life pal — or as George Lucas said, “Well, you know Han Solo is married to a Wookiee, but we can’t say that.” If Han was heartless enough to leave his friend Chewbacca behind to face the forces of the Empire by himself, he could leave anyone behind.
7. Han Solo is Not Going to Win Dad of the Year
Even before Ben Solo became Kylo Ren, the canon novel Bloodline paints Han Solo as being a distant father who did not spend much time with his son. Ben and Luke wandered to the far reaches of the galaxy together, whereas Han talked to his son infrequently while competing as a starship racer. Luke Skywalker in many ways is the father figure in his nephew Ben’s life; Han, in contrast, chooses to live his own separate life away from his family.
Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens tells Rey that if Han Solo was her father, he would have only disappointed her. While Han blamed Kylo Ren for having too much of Vader in him, it seems that Kylo may have inherited his father’s temperment. Perhaps Kylo Ren isn’t the most reliable narrator (especially given that he murders the unarmed Han Solo), and we still don’t know how Han disappointed his son. Still, those daddy issues didn’t come out of nowhere.
6. Han Returns to Fight the Death Star
After successfully rescuing Princess Leia from the Imperial forces, Han Solo decides to take his reward money and fly away from the impending planet-destroying doom that is the Death Star. But at the last moment, Han has a change of heart and returns to help his friend Luke Skywalker. Han manages to shoot Darth Vader’s TIE and provide sufficient cover that Luke is able to destroy the Death Star.
Han returning is heroic, but it is also incredibly stupid. He has seen firsthand the destructive capabilities of the Death Star. In fact, it would have made the most sense if the rebels tried to evacuate as many people as possible from Yavin IV and fleed the destructive capacity of the Death Star, even as they planned to destroy it.
5. Han Solo Can’t Take No for An Answer
Whether it’s in the Star Wars comics or in Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo is not very receptive to what Princess Leia tells him, especially when she says, “No.” Within the hearts and minds of fans, Han and Leia are clearly meant to be, but that doesn’t mean that Han can shamelessly and repeatedly make moves on Leia when she has made it clear that she isn’t interested. For instance:
[Han massages Leia’s hand]
LEIA: Stop that.
HAN: Stop what?
LEIA: Stop that. My hands are dirty.
HAN: My hands are dirty, too. What are you afraid of?
HAN: You’re trembling.
LEIA: I’m not trembling.
This is not romantic. Leia is in the middle of trying to fix the Millennium Falcon as they run for their lives from the Empire. If she tells Han to stop, whatever the reason and regardless of how she feels about him, he should stop. Read the room, Han. Read the room.
4. Han Stuffs Luke in a Tauntaun
Han walks the line between devotion to his friends and sheer stupidity when he tries to rescue them. Such is the case when he rides his tauntaun out into Hoth in order to find a missing Luke Skywalker. Han doesn’t have a plan of how he will find Luke or what he will do when he finds Luke, as Echo Base will be locked down.
After Han finds Luke, he needs to keep him warm. Coincidentally, Han’s tauntaun (and transportation) dies in the extreme cold. Stuck in the middle of a blizzard, Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to slash open the tauntaun and stuck Luke inside of the beast to keep him warm. Since the tauntaun’s sudden death prompted this, it was hardly Han’s plan all along. He just came up with the (disgusting) idea on the spot. At least Luke went on to live another day (and kiss his sister accidentally).
3. Han Kidnaps Leia
The Star Wars Legends novel The Courtship of Princess Leia is set after the events of Return of the Jedi. In it, Leia is betrothed to be married with Prince Isolder of the Hapes consortium (after all, she is a princess). Not only is Isolder young and handsome, but the Hapes consortium could help the Rebel Alliance win the war against the Empire. Enraged that Leia could even consider marrying someone else, Han kidnaps her using the Gun of Command, a mind-control device, and flees to the planet Dathomir. When Han is faced with the idea that Leia could be with someone other than him, he decides that the best strategy is to override her free will and to take her to a far-off planet to force her to change her mind.
2. Han leaves Leia
Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa’s relationship has always been both unconventional and at times volatile. In the canon Star Wars story, even after they were married and had a son, they both lived separate lives and often communicated long distance from different solar systems. However, during the time between the novel Bloodline and the film The Force Awakens, their marriage falls apart and Han returns to his old smuggling ways, leaving Leia behind.
Leia had already lost a son and a brother, as Luke had gone into hiding without any notice. She was facing scrutiny from her political opponents because of her birth father’s identity and her political career was teetering. This is when Leia needed Han the most, when she had no one else to turn to. But, just like her son and her brother before her, Han Solo decided to run, and Leia was left alone to try to keep the Resistance (and the galaxy) together.
1. Han Smuggles Drugs for the Hutts
Han Solo transported glitterstim, a form of the drug “spice”, from the planet Kessel for the crimelord Jabba the Hutt; this is where the infamous “Kessel Run” which Han references in A New Hope gets its name. But glitterstim is a highly addictive drug, and was a controlled substance under the Empire, which is why crime lords like the Hutts would illegally and covertly smuggle it using operatives like Han Solo.
It’s no surprise that Han’s dealings as a smuggler were illegal, but the drug trade is a cruel business, both for addicts who are enslaved to the whims of drug lords and to the literal slaves that harvest spice on Kessel. It’s true that Han Solo has been outspoken against slavery in the Star Wars galaxy, and has refused to transport slaves on his ships. However, glitterstim is harvested by slaves on Kessel, and so Han Solo’s illegal dealings still help to bolster and promote slavery in the Outer Rim.
What do you think the most WTF thing Han has done is? Start a conversation in the comments!